Bryce Harper will now become a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, on a $330 million contract that will last 13 years with no opt-out clauses, meaning he will likely play the remainder of his career in, as one commentator put it, “in a city his family didn’t want him to, and he doesn’t love,” as The Inquisitr previously reported. But why? Details began to emerge late on Thursday about the contracts that were turned down by Harper, from two west coast teams much closer to his Nevada home.
In light of the new details, as reported by CBS Sports and other outlets, Harper now appears to have simply opted for the contract with the highest total dollar figure — though not the highest annual paycheck — and the most years, combined into one package.
“In the end, dollars won out,” wrote Dodgers Nation editor Clint Evans on his Twitter account. “That’s sports in 2019.”
But though dollars may have won out, they didn’t win out by much, because both the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants offered Harper contracts that would have set new records. As reported on Twitter by MLB Network journalist Jon Morosi, the Dodgers offered a much shorter-term deal for Harper, but one that would have “shattered” the record for average annual value, not only in baseball, but in any sport.
According to Morosi’s information, the Dodgers “were willing” to offer Harper a four-year deal — meaning that Harper could have become a free agent once again at age 30, still in the prime of his career — with an average annual salary of a staggering $45 million. The total of $180 million over four years would put Harper well above the current sports record-holder, NBA superstar LeBron James, whose current four-year pact with the Los Angeles Lakers will pay him $154 million, according to CNBC.
The Dodgers’ reported proposal to Harper would have also topped the salary paid to global soccer star Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona, who reportedly earns $33 million per season in salary, according to Money Magazine. But apparently the relatively short duration of the contract was not what Harper and his agent Scott Boras had in mind.
Instead, Harper took the Phillies deal, which will keep him in Philadelphia for 13 years. Given Harper’s current age of 26, his Philly tenure will equal one-third of his life by the time the contract expires. In fact, 13 years ago, Harper, who was born on October 16, 1992, would have been 13-years-old, per Baseball Reference.
The Giants offered Harper a 12-year deal, according to a report via Twitter by NBC Sports Bay Area reporter Alex Pavlovic. But the total dollar amount was $310 million.
“They were willing to go higher but would have had to go well over $330 million to get it done because of California taxes,” Pavlovic reported.